MARK STEVENS: I’d like the welcome Webb Simpson. Webb, you’re 12th in the FedExCup going into The Playoffs.
You want to talk a little bit about your position, what you’re trying to do this week to improve and then talk a little bit about the course, too. You just got down with the Pro-Am.
WEBB SIMPSON: It’s always nice to be back here in Greensboro growing up about an hour and fifteen minutes from here in Raleigh. I expect a lot of friends and family coming out so I’m excited for the week.
You notice by the time you’re here the FedExCup buzz starts going. We’ve got a bunch of good names this week because of it. It’s exciting. This week is big.
I think I’m in a position where I can make a nice run at The Playoffs and try to win and, you know, this week I don’t think I can really hurt myself. I can definitely help myself with a good week.
So I’m looking forward to that and, you know, it’s all about the FedExCup Playoffs so we’ll see if we can get that trophy from Jim Furyk now.
MARK STEVENS: Little bit about the course, how it’s playing.
WEBB SIMPSON: The course is great. The best I’ve seen the greens in four — three, four years. The rough is — it doesn’t look that bad but the ball sits down pretty much every time so I don’t think the scores will be quite as good as they have been because I don’t remember the rough being this bad.
You got to get right on top of the ball to see it. So it’s fantastic all the way around and I like the couple of subtle changes they’ve done this past year.
MARK STEVENS: Questions?
Q. Webb, I had a two part question for you.
First of all, can you talk a little bit about the Wake Forest connection here, you and Bill Haas considered a couple of guys that may be favorites depending on how things shake out the first couple of days.
Bill was just in here and he actually said his time at Wake Forest was the best time of his life, including now. I was curious to know if you would agree or respectfully disagree?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, the first part, I’ve known Bill since pretty much end of high school. It’s unfortunate we missed each other by a year. I would have loved to play with him with how good of a college career he had.
But it’s always nice being out here and seeing Wake guys. I think Kyle Reifers secured his card. It will be nice having him out here next year.
My dad told me before I committed to Wake, he was pushing me there and saying how Wake’s alumni and the whole school kind of come together. It’s like a small family.
That’s what I love about it. Never playing with Bill, I feel like he’s one of my best friends out here. It’s really cool what kind of uniqueness the school did.
In terms of the best time of my life, I’m having it right now. I got married and have a baby and playing on the PGA TOUR.
I have no regrets about college. It was four great years and it’s funny, everybody that I know that went to Wake says that. I think it just shows what a great school it is.
Q. I know the urgency to win is there and you’ve been so close. Does it get frustrating or do you feel like your time will come? How do you take it from week to week?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, it can be frustrating if I let it but I’ve always been kind of a, you know — I’ve always been a little slow to win.
I came out of high school, I think I was the best coming out of high school. I get to college and takes me to my second semester junior year to win and I won a few more times.
I’m seeing that pattern out here on Tour now. I’m just trying to get comfortable. As soon as I start trying to win instead of trying to do what I know how to do which is just continue to get better, you know, I think it will take a lot longer.
So I’m just really trying to stay day by day and try to get better and improve and get stronger and kind of let it come.
Q. Do you think the flood gates will open?
WEBB SIMPSON: I hope so. I know it will make me more comfortable knowing I can get it done.
But, you know, I’ve always been a positive person. I think every time I’ve had a chance to win this year, last year and I haven’t, I look back and I learned something. It’s only going to make me better.
Q. What positives did you take out of the playoff loss and your other 2nds?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, I was pretty nervous at Tampa being in the hunt. I thought I did pretty well. I bogeyed 18 but 18 is a hard hole.
Then New Orleans I felt way better under the gun on the back-9. Just felt really confident all day. Paul, my caddy noticed I was a lot slower and more calm. I think that helped.
Greenbrier was just one of those deals where I wasn’t really hitting it good all week. Somehow I found myself two shots out of the lead going into Sunday. I didn’t know how it was possible. We didn’t feel we played well. Kind of the same deal on Sunday.
We’re learning every time but I’m just kind of — New Orleans I feel like was about the only week I had this year where I kind of pieced it all together all four days. That’s what we’re looking for more as opposed to two great rounds and two rounds where I just try to hang in there.
Q. Webb, if you look at the winning scores over four rounds from the last few years here, you have to average four, 5-under per day to even be in the conversation on Sunday. Does that change your approach at all or do you still try to just play your game and just be patient and if the pars are coming early you take those rather than maybe taking some risks early and ending up plus 1 or plus 2 after the first day.
WEBB SIMPSON: I think this golf course has just enough tricks about it to where in a heartbeat you can miss it — you can short-side yourself and make quick bogies.
And, like I said, the rough is up this year so I think it’s a course you got to stay patient and I think it’s a course where if you stay patient, you know, birdie runs can come.
I remember last year I shot 4-over on the front-9 Saturday but then I birdied three of my last four. Kind of one of those golf courses where you got to sit back and let the birdies come because they’re going to come with two reachable par-5s.
So you do play aggressive but I mean as soon as the guys start playing too aggressive, they’ll be short-siding themselves and making easy bogies.
Q. I understand your half-brother lives in Greensboro. Does that bring you here often and is he going to be involved in your gallery this week?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah. He’s got three kids. I think they’ll all come out and watch. They all came to the Greenbrier so it was fun for them there.
He’s got a bunch of friends here that are coming out. I think they have a tent on one of the holes so they have a big part in this tournament and it’s always fun to see him. I don’t get up here as much as I’d like to but I got family also in Winston-Salem and Raleigh so just be family-filled week.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Thanks a lot Webb. Good luck this week.
WEBB SIMPSON: Thank you.
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